Planning Social Media Ahead of Time, Why Bother?
Do you plan your social media? OR just post ‘in the moment’?
We get asked a lot ‘Why would you bother to plan your social media ahead of time?’ or ‘Does it make a difference to your results if you plan your social media ahead of time?’
Well, in all honesty, you don’t and shouldn’t plan ALL of it ahead of time and yes, it does help your results. Like all marketing, it is better if you have a mix of planned and ad hoc. Be proactive and ready to be reactive! So the answer is a little bit of both is what we would consider best practice.
Let’s look at the two options and break it down into what you want
Saves time in the long run
Allows you to get the marketing message right
You can decide your goals for the post and stick to it
Consistent posting gets you better results
Part of a wider plan
Time: If you plan, you’ll have more time to think about what you want to get out of your post. Plus, you can schedule the posts to go at the right time for when your audience is online and engaging. Not many people want to post at 6:30 -7 pm when most adults in the UK are sitting scrolling through Facebook, so scheduling posts for this time is a good idea!!
Messaging: Ensure you cover all of the content you want to communicate with your audience – messages around your products or services, team, etc. For example, put one word in your planning grid that covers off an area of the business you want to promote on social media.
Goals: What is the point/goal for the post? Is it to drive traffic to your website, get comments, likes, tags, reviews, brand awareness, or something else?
Consistent: Plan and you can maintain a consistent posting schedule across channels. Avoid last-minute rushing to find content to share. Keep your style/branding of your posts similar or recognisable to draw attention and be memorable to your audience.Marketing Mix: Believe it or not social media is one tool in a marketing tool bag full of ‘tricks’ so really you should be thinking about how your social media fits into the wider marketing plan and supports you strategy.
Plus, we spend time engaging on the pages and looking for topical content to share too – this is the bits you can’t plan!!
Which leads us nicely on to ad hoc posts:
If you do your posting ‘in the moment’ you are hopefully using topical/trending content that will keep your audience entertained – as mentioned above this is the content you can’t really plan for! This is perfect for being reactive to what is happening out there in the wider world.
You can have a lot of fun with this, especially like us if you have a graphic designer on hand to make you great posts that fit in with something that has just happened in the news, a celebrity update, new products from big brands, etc you can jump on this straight away and get some really good results! Twitter is a really good place to see what’s trending – always check out the trending hashtags on there. Also, Instagram is a fantastic way to see the latest in the moment trends too! Or why not have a go at the lastest TikTok video trends!!
So, it isn’t all about publishing and scheduling posts. You should be thinking about engagement time and spending time looking for that topical content. This is where your planning ahead will pay dividends for time saved… A plan can help to save you time and you can use that time for the ad-hoc/topical posts!